The curfew ordinance requires juveniles age 15 and younger to be home by 10 pm every night of the week, and those age 16-17 to be home by midnight. Curfew applies to any public space, such as streets, parks, highways, and schools. Curfew also applies to public establishments, such as movie theatres, restaurants, and bowling alleys. Teens accompanied by a parent or guardian may be out after these deadlines (see Exceptions below).
Curfew compliance and enforcement is essential for prevention and intervention. To protect youth from becoming a victim, or in trouble with the law, all public safety agencies enforce the Ramsey County Curfew Ordinance.
Curfew Violations are Status Offenses
Curfew violations are status offenses, not criminal offenses. When police find youth in violation of curfew they are given citations and released to their parents. A parent or guardian signs the citation and the officer leaves a copy with them. In the event a responsible adult is not available, the youth will be placed into a shelter for his/her safety until a parent or guardian becomes available.
First-time curfew violators with no previous police contact will be given the option of completing a diversion program. If the youth follows all the rules and successfully completes the diversion program, the offense will not go on his/her record. If, however, the youth fails to follow all rules and does not complete the program, s/he will be referred to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for prosecution.
If a youth violates curfew a second time, or is arrested and charged with a new crime, his/her case may be sent to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for prosecution. If there is a criminal charge involved, the process includes the Juvenile and Family Justice Center (JFJC).
Supervising deputies/officers, and related professionals, connect with parents during and after the process to follow up on any concerns noted during the detention and to make appropriate referrals.
Exceptions to Curfew Ordinance
The curfew ordinance contains a number of exceptions, including if the juvenile is:
- With a parent, guardian or other responsible adult
- At work or in the process of going to or coming from home or work
- Involved in an emergency
- Going to, attending, or coming home from a supervised school, church, or recreational activity
- In front of his/her own residence